How to Sharpen Reel Mower Blades

how to sharpen reel mower blades

Reel lawn mowers are gaining popularity again. They cut grass while you push them along like a manual mower. However, like their rotary blade counterparts, actual mower blades can become dull or require minor adjustments. Even if your reel mower is new you need to sharpen new mower blades to get best grass cutting. There are a few different techniques to sharpen reel mower blades. This post will show you how to sharpen reel mower blades using a file or sharpening compound for the highest cut performance possible.

Sharpening reel mower blades 

Tools Required 

However, before we could sharpen reel mower blades, we needed a few types of equipment that would save us time and effort and simplify our job.

  • A file
  • A pair of hand gloves
  • Eyeglasses with anti-reflective coating
  • A sharpening kit that is used regularly.
  • Sharpening kit for back lapping.
  • A sharpening attachment for a power drill is used.
  • Using sandpaper for metal polishing.
  • A range

Precautions to Take While Sharpening Reel Mower Blade 

how do you sharpen a reel mower
  • When sharpening a lawnmower blade, it is important to work carefully. Sharpening requires a solid pair of gloves and eye and/or ear protection to avoid being cut or burned by sparks.
  • The spark plug of reel lawn mower should be removed first to avoid the machine accidentally starting while attempting to remove the blade.
  • Before removing your mower blade, make a mark on the bottom side of it.
  • You may use a machine or accessory for your power equipment instead of sharpening a lawnmower blade by hand. If you have experience wearing protective clothes, this is the best technique to sharpen lawnmower blades.
  • Check the blade’s balance before reinstalling it in the lawnmower.’ Hang the blade from a nail after sharpening to ensure optimum balance.

How to sharpen a Reel Mower Blade with a Sharpening Compound?

In 2022, certain mower manufacturers will sell specific sharpening kits for reel mower blades whether it is mulching or regular blade. In general, they offer “Back Lapping.” It’s just a kit that includes a handle and a little sharpening compound. To sharpen reel mower blades, apply a sharpening compound to the blades using a chip brush, and the beveled edges will slowly sharpen as they scrape against each other.

Then you spin the reel mower’s drive gear using the handle or “Lapping Tool.” For 3 or 4 passes, you move the blades in one direction. The blades are then turned in the opposite direction. It takes a little longer and requires a little more elbow grease than the file approach. It also doesn’t sharpen the blades as effectively. The main advantage of using a back strapping and sharpening compound is that you won’t have to worry about matching the blades’ bevel angles.

How Can You Use a File to Sharpen a Reel Mower Blade?

sharpening reel mower blades with a file

For sharpening reel mower blades, a mill file is a great tool. On the other hand, many hardware stores may sell special mill files specially made for sharpening reel mower blades.

So, here’s how to sharpen reel mower blades with a file in five easy steps.

  • Ensure the blades are secure – Place the mower handle on a flat surface, such as a workbench or table, and block the reel with a broom handle to prevent the bales from spinning while you sharpen the blades.
  • Mower blades should be cleaned – Carefully clean the dirt off the blades with a strong wire brush or coarse sandpaper.
  • Scrape The File Between The Blades – Carefully press the dull edge of the initial blades onto the toothed end of the metal mill. Now scrape the blades’ edges with the file, being sure to travel forward and backward over the length of the blades. Also, do not attempt to create new cutting angles. Repeat the process numerous times. It is entirely dependent on the state of the blade. However, we recommend doing it at least seven times. You’re only attempting to reduce the dull cutting angle by one or two millimeters.
  • For all blades, repeat the preceding procedures – After sharpening the blade’s edge, remove the broom handle and carefully spin the mower cylinder to have complete access to the next blade. After that, re-secure the blades and repeat the sharpening process for each dull blade.
  • After sharpening, coat the blades with grease and lubricant to protect them – When you’ve finished sharpening them, apply well to keep the metal blades from rusting. Spray (lightly) some penetrating lubricant like WD40 on all the moving components, on the other hand.MowersLab experts suggest using a penetrating WD40 lubricant or a little linseed oil soaked in a clean paper towel to coat the blades. Now we’ll look at how to sharpen reel mower blades with a sharpening kit.

How often do sharpen reel mower blades?

It depends on various conditions, such as when the blades come into contact with tiny stones, boulders, or other hard barriers during the mowing process, the blades lose their sharpness. However, experts at Mowerslab recommend sharpening the blades after 20-25 hours of use. Some others, though, do it once or twice a year. If you utilize a reel mower in a commercial setting, sharpening the blades once a week is recommended for best performance.

How to Adjust Reel Mower Blades?

Reel mowers are good for gas-powered rotary mowers, particularly for small lawns. According to Ohio State University research, lawns mowed using reel mowers are consistently healthier than those done with rotary mowers. Throughout the season, you’ll need to adjust the blades of a reel mower to ensure that your grass is mowed to the optimum height at the appropriate time of year. All necessary are a few basic tools and a few minutes of your time.

  • Set the reel mower down on a level surface. Make sure it’s at a decent working height so you can readily access all of the cylinder’s sections.
  • Loosen the wing nuts or bolts on the sides of the mowing cylinder so the rear roller, or rear wheels, may easily travel up and down, depending on your model’s layout. If this task has not been completed in a long time, lubrication may be required to complete it.
  • Decide what cutting height you want the mower to be set at. Use a tape measure to raise or lower the cylinder or wheels to the appropriate height.
  • Once you’ve achieved the right blade height for your reel mower, tighten the nuts or bolts back in place. Avoid overtightening or stripping the threads.
  • At all places with moving components, lubricate the nuts, bolts, and mowing cylinder with lubricating oil. This will assist in preventing corrosion and make adjustments easy the next time they are needed.
  • Before mowing the entire lawn, test some sections to confirm that the required height was achieved. If a re-adjustment is necessary, repeat the above procedure.


To sharpen a reel mower, you should not need a professional or go to a service shop. With these easy steps, you can accomplish it on your own. It was a simple task. Right? Reel mowers are quite a useful gardening equipment for maintaining a healthy lawn. This article has come to an end. We hope you enjoyed our complete guide on reel mower sharpening. Also, feel free to leave comments if you have any queries or are unsure.

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